There will always be days when something happens in your home and all you know is to call an expert to do the repair for you.
Included in your home messes are clogged washing machine drain pipes, and, although not that stressful, getting them cleaned and repaired costs much.
So, what should you do if you want to clean your pipes on your own?
How Do You Know If You Need to Clean Your Washer Pipes?
Sometimes, we only rely on unsuccessful water flow when we refer to clogged drain pipes and messy water washer pipes.
But, there are other considerations that you want to take. Below are some signs that your washer pipes need to be cleansed:
- Bubbles of water after you drain your washer
- Smelly washer before and after you start using it (usually caused by bacteria)
- Water spillage when draining
- Wrong washer temperature display for automatic washers
- Loud noises coming from your washing machine even when you use soft or mild wash mode
- The main sewer line can also cause wall water damage
If you have nothing to do, or during your day off, you might want to focus on cleaning your home appliances, including your washer and other water drains.
Remember, cleaning and maintenance are always better than having to pay for damages around your home!
5 Ways to Clean Drain Pipes of Your Washing Machines
Cleaning your washing machine’s drain pipes is as easy as you think and if you love DIY-ing, doing the following methods will surely be helpful for you.
If your last resort is to call a plumber, read the quick and easy techniques below before calling one:
1. Drain Cleaner Products
The easiest way to clean your washing machine drain pipe without putting much effort is by using commercial drain cleaner products. To use this method, all you have to do is:
- Find the drain of your washing machine. For you to easily identify it, you must know which is the discharge hose for the hot water and the other pipe for the cold water. Usually, these pipes are smaller than the drain pipe itself and they have red and blue colors.
- When you have found your drain pipes, you must slowly pour hot water into them. Generally, this technique works best if you only have a slowly draining washing machine pipe.
This method works by dissolving the soap and grease that cause the clog in the drain pipe of your washer. Additionally, this can also remove and prevent the freezing of pipes during cold weather.
- Along with the boiling water, you can add your drain cleaner of choice. Before you buy one, make sure that the products are mild as strong ones can damage your pipes as well as your skin.
- For better use of drain cleaners, you can detach your hose from the drain pipe. Make sure that you know where to screw and unscrew the tools as this technique might require some effort to execute.
Most enzyme drain cleaners in the market come with a label that you can follow, and you are highly recommended to follow this. After pouring drain cleaners, make sure to rinse the pipe in order to avoid damage.
Furthermore, keep in mind that drain cleaners are for mild clogs only. Generally, these products can be used by beginners but for complex clogs, the help of an expert is highly recommended.
2. Use a Snake Drain
The use of snake drains is also effective in removing the blockage in your drainpipes. To use this method, you must
- First, detach your washing machine hose from the machine itself.
- Then, insert the snake drain and push it until you feel the clog. When you feel resistance, this is the time for you to twist your drain snake until you grab the debris and dirt causing the clog.
- Repeat this step until no more debris is being felt. If you want to make sure that there is no more clog left, you can pour warm water first before you install the pipe in your washer.
- When reattaching your hose, make sure that you are attaching it well because this can cause leaks to your water line if installed improperly. To test better, you can try using your washer without clothes on it.
Like drain cleaners, there are also drain unblockers. These products may come in liquid or granular forms and before you purchase one, you must know which drain unblockers are suitable for your pipes.
If you love doing DIY, you can make a snake drain instead of buying one. Get your wired clothes hanger and bend them the way you want to.
3. High-Pressure Water Spray
I always get to see my neighbor using his high-pressure water spray whenever he is cleaning his garage. One time, I asked him what he uses it for and he said that he uses it for cleaning his house pipes.
To do this technique, you have to attach your drain hose to your water spray and then spray until the clog or blockage is gone.
Again, if you will do this method, make sure that you have reinstalled the hose properly to avoid leaks.
4. Vinegar and Hot Water Solution
Of course, if you do not want to spend any penny on cleaning your washing machine drain pipes, the best solution is the vinegar and hot water mixture.
This is a cheap method of cleaning drain pipes and to do it, you have to mix 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Boil this solution for around 10 minutes and then pour it into your drain pipe.
For the vinegar, you can use either cane vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. One great thing about this solution is that it is also antibacterial. Many people also consider it because it acts as a deodorizing agent.
5. Baking Soda, Vinegar, Hot Water Solution
For additional cleansing, you can add baking soda to your vinegar and hot water solution. Take note that you can do this method in two ways.
The first one is by boiling the baking soda and vinegar together and the second one is by putting the baking soda into the drain pipe before pouring the vinegar and hot water mixture.
6. Salt and Water
Just like vinegar, salt also comes with antibacterial properties. This means that it is also one of the suitable cleansing ingredients for your washing machine drain pipe.
If you want to use this technique, you should mix around 1-2 cups of salt, either iodized or sea salt, with 2 cups of water. Again, boil this mixture for around 10-15 minutes.
When the solution is fully boiled, you can pour the mixture slowly. If you have observed that there is no more clog as you pour, you can say that this method has been an effective one.
Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogs: What Are the Culprits?
Aside from the dirt from your clothes or garments such as the paper towels in your pockets or even candy wrappers, there are other causes of drainage pipe clogs. Some of these include the following:
- Greasy soap residue and buildup of detergents
- Dryer lint residues
- Oily substances and chemicals from clothes
Generally, knowing these causes allows you to prevent the occurrence of clogs. If you do not want to do much effort into cleaning your pipes, you might want to take some precautions then.
Can You Prevent Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogs
Sometimes, you would ask yourself if it is possible to maintain clean washing machine drain pipes. Well, the answer would be yes. It is always possible!
Some of the techniques you can do to avoid pipe clogs include the following:
- Use a lint trap or lint bag and place it at the end of your washer drain pipe. This method will allow you to sort out the debris that can possibly cause clogging in your pipes.
- When you consider lint bags, it is highly advisable to change them once a month as new ones can collect dirt better.
- Usually, washers are installed with a lint catcher. If yours do not have one, you can instead improvise your own dust bag or mesh filter.
- Sometimes, experts place enough clearance between your drain pipe and hose. This technique provides enough airflow for your drainage systems.
Indeed, there are days when we neglect our duty of cleaning the necessary appliances in our home and one of these is our washers.
Unfortunately, this neglect can only cause us to pay more money than we ever thought. So, if ever you have drainage pipe issues, specifically in your laundry room, you might want to take a look at them as soon as possible.
If you do not want to call plumbing experts or professionals and you just want to clean your washer drain pipes on your own, considering drain cleaners, snake drains, high-pressure water sprays, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and water solution is highly recommended.